Qantas Tour of NZ 2018
Confusion over No.1 ranking clarified
Pakistan hold on to top spot in ICC's T20 rankings despite Australia's unbeaten tri-series campaign
Martin Smith & Louis Cameron
21 February 2018, 10:13 PM AEST
Pakistan have held on to the International Cricket Council's No.1 T20 ranking by a fraction of a point, despite Australia completing an unbeaten tri-series campaign with victory over New Zealand in Auckland on Wednesday night.
A calculation provided to cricket.com.au by an ICC spokesperson last week stated that if Australia went through the tri-series undefeated, the Aussies would edge ahead of Pakistan and be crowned world No.1.
But the ICC clarified on Wednesday that this initial calculation was a clerical error and it is in fact Pakistan who have retained top spot on decimal points.
In a statement on Wednesday night, the ICC said that when the points are rounded off, Australia are on 125.65 points, 0.19 behind Pakistan on 125.84.
It means Australia remain one of three current Test-playing nations, along with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, to have not held the No.1 ranking in T20 cricket.
It is nonetheless an impressive rankings rise from the Australians, who started the series in a lowly seventh place.
David Warner's new-look side claimed a comprehensive seven-wicket win to begin the tri-series three weeks ago after a phenomenal bowling display saw them restrict New Zealand to 9-117 at the SCG.
They defeated England in Hobart later that week as they kept the visitors to 155 before Glenn Maxwell struck his second T20 International century, bringing up the milestone off the final ball of the game.
Australia's bowlers again did the trick again at the MCG, as England could only managed 7-137, which the hosts chased down with more than five overs in hand.
Crossing the Tasman Sea, New Zealand welcomed their rivals for one of the most memorable games in recent times. After conceding their highest ever score in the format – 244, thanks to opener Martin Guptill's terrific century – Australia's batters matched the feat in stunning fashion by pulling off the biggest run-chase in T20 history with seven balls to spare.
And while the eager Auckland crowd were expecting a repeat on Wednesday, New Zealand could only manage 9-150 in the tri-series decider, with Australia completing a 19-run victory on the DLS method.
The rankings volatility that has seen the Aussies jump from seventh to second can be explained by the dearth of T20 internationals played compared to other formats, particularly in years when the quadrennial World T20 tournament is not played.
ICC's T20I RANKINGS
1) Pakistan - 126
2) Australia - 126
3) India - 122
4) New Zealand - 116
5) West Indies - 115
6) England - 114
7) South Africa - 110
8) Sri Lanka - 91
9) Afghanistan - 88
10) Bangladesh - 72